News from Denmark about the prophets' cartoons
- Note: We were the first one to break the news when it
Danish paper sorry for Muhammad cartoons
Late apology after tide of Arab anger and boycott
Swedes and Norwegians also affected by fallout
Nicholas Watt European editor
Tuesday January 31, 2006
Denmark's largest selling broadsheet newspaper last
night issued an apology to the "honourable citizens of
the Muslim world" after publishing a series of
cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad that provoked
protests across the Middle East.
In a lengthy statement the editor-in-chief of
Jyllands-Posten admitted that the 12 cartoons, one of
which depicted Muhammad wearing a bomb-shaped turban,
had caused "serious misunderstandings". Carsten Juste
said: "The 12 cartoons ... were not intended to be
offensive, nor were they at variance with Danish law,
but they have indisputably offended many Muslims, for
which we apologise."
Mr Juste spoke out hours after Scandinavians were
warned against travelling to Gaza and the West Bank
after the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade demanded that all
Swedes and Danes leave the territories. An Iraqi
militant group joined the protests when it called for
attacks against Danish and Norwegian targets after a
Norwegian newspaper ran the cartoons.
Danish businesses started to take fright yesterday
after religious leaders in Saudi Arabia, which last
week recalled its ambassador to Copenhagen, called for
a boycott of Danish goods. The dairy group Arla Foods
reported that two of its staff in Saudi Arabia had
been beaten by angry customers. This prompted Arla's
executive director to press the Danish government to
take action. Peder Tuborgh said: "I urgently beg the
government to enter a positive dialogue with the many
millions of Muslims who feel they have been offended
Amid this atmosphere, Jyllands-Posten finally admitted
it had made a mistake, and published an apology on its
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the Danish prime minister, last
night welcomed the apology. Insisting that the
government could not apologise on behalf of
newspapers, Mr Rasmussen told the TV2 channel: "I
personally have such a respect for people's religious
belief that I personally never would have depicted
Muhammad, Jesus or any other religious character in a
way that could offend other people."
Danish officials will be hoping that the apology will
help to draw a line under the row, which was sparked
on September 30 when Jyllands-Posten published the
cartoons. They caused deep offence on two grounds:
Islam bars any depiction of the Prophet Muhammad and
the cartoons were deemed grossly offensive. One
drawing depicted the Muhammad wearing a turban shaped
as a bomb with a burning fuse, while in another he
wielded a sword.
Protests were initially confined mainly to Denmark,
though there were demonstrations in Karachi and
Muslims sent angry emails to Danish embassies.
Mr Rasmussen, who was first elected after exploiting
resentment of asylum-seekers, initially misjudged the
mood by declining to meet ambassadors from 11 Islamic
Amid increasing protests, Mr Rasmussen eventually
addressed the matter in the new year, when he
condemned attempts "to demonise groups of people on
the basis of their religion or ethnic background". He
mentioned "a few unacceptably offensive" instances,
but stopped short of naming Jyllands-Posten. This
failed to satisfy many Muslims who placed
advertisements in newspapers in the Middle East
condemning the cartoons.
Denmark daily issues apology
[ Tuesday, January 31, 2006 10:09:49 pmREUTERS ]
COPENHAGEN: Denmark's Jyllands-Posten newspaper, which
published the cartoons, issued an apology late on
Monday in a statement to Arab countries sent to the
Jordanian news agency Petra.
The drawings, that seemed to portray the Prophet as a
terrorist, were published in September, but the row
erupted this month after diplomatic efforts to solve
the issue failed. One drawing shows Mohammad wearing a
turban shaped as a bomb.
"The drawings are not against the Danish law but have
indisputably insulted many Muslims, for which we shall
apologise," the newspaper said in the statement.
Fury grows over Denmark cartoons
Tuesday 31 January 2006, 10:51 Makka Time, 7:51 GMT
Denmark has warned its citizens to avoid Saudi Arabia
after Muslim fury mounted over newspaper cartoons of
the Prophet Muhammad.
Denmark's Jyllands-Posten newspaper, which published
the cartoons, issued an apology late on Monday in a
statement to Arab countries, sent to the Jordanian
news agency Petra.
The drawings, which seemed to portray the prophet as a
terrorist, were published in September, but the row
erupted this month after diplomatic efforts to solve
the issue failed. One drawing shows Prophet Muhammad
wearing a turban shaped as a bomb.
Muslims deem images of prophets disrespectful and
caricatures blasphemous, and some have threatened
Danes and demanded an apology.
The newspaper said in a statement: "The drawings are
not against the Danish law but have indisputably
insulted many Muslims, for which we shall apologise."
Iraqi fighters' threat
An Iraqi fighters' group called on Monday for attacks
on Danish and Norwegian targets, according to a
statement attributed to the Mujahidin Army. A
Norwegian paper has also run the drawings.
The internet statement called on fighters to "hit
whatever targets possible belonging to these two
countries and others that follow their steps". It
could not be authenticated.
Denmark has about 530 troops serving in Iraq.
A roadside bomb exploded near an Iraqi police car
driving in front of a Danish forces patrol, wounding
one Iraqi, the Danish army said on Monday, adding it
had no reason to conclude the attack was connected to
the cartoon row.
As the diplomatic and economic impact has spread,
Saudi Arabia has recalled its envoy from Denmark and
its religious leaders called for a boycott of Danish
Across the Gulf, several supermarkets pulled
Scandinavian foods off the shelves after consumers
Sudan said it had told a Danish government minister he
could not make a planned visit and said it had also
called for a boycott of Danish goods.
Jamal Ibrahim, a Sudanese Foreign Ministry spokesman,
said: "This is an insult to the Prophet Muhammad.
Furthermore, we have asked our national companies to
boycott all Danish goods."
Libya has closed its Copenhagen embassy, and thousands
of Palestinians marched in protest on Monday.
Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Denmark's prime minister,
welcomed the paper's statement but did not apologise.
Rasmussen said: "The Danish government cannot
apologise on behalf of a Danish newspaper. It does not
work like that ... and we have explained that to the
Arab countries. Independent media are not edited by
Earlier on Monday, he advised colleagues in the
European Union of the situation and the bloc's
executive said it might complain to the World Trade
Organisation about the boycott if the Saudi government
had encouraged it.
The Danish Foreign Ministry advised against
non-essential travel to Saudi Arabia and urged Danes
to be cautious in other Muslim countries.
"Danes who choose to stay in Saudi Arabia should show
extraordinarily high watchfulness," it added on its
The Danish Red Cross said it had pulled two employees
out of Gaza and one from Yemen, and Norway's Foreign
Ministry said two Norwegian aid workers in Gaza were
planning to leave on Monday.
Sweden warned its citizens against travelling to Gaza
and the West Bank and the Swedish consulate in
Jerusalem received a fax claiming to be from Fatah's
al-Aqsa Martyr's Brigades demanding that all Danes and
Swedes should leave the area.
"All Swedes and Danes that exist on our soil have 48
hours to leave our country or else," according to the
fax read to Reuters by a consulate official.
Dozens of Palestinians with rifles and grenade
launchers rallied outside the EU headquarters in Gaza
City, demanding an apology and warning Danes and
Norwegians they would be at risk in Gaza.
Some of the armed men fired in the air, while others
burned Danish and Norwegian flags.
Hamas, the Islamic resistance group which won
Palestinian elections last week, urged Muslim
countries to take "deterrent steps against idiotic
Hardest hit by the boycott was Danish-Swedish dairy
product maker Arla Foods, with annual sales of $487
million in the Middle East. The world's biggest maker
of insulin, Novo Nordisk, also said it was affected.
Gaza EU offices raided by gunmen
Masked gunmen in Gaza have briefly stormed the local
office of the EU.
They demanded an apology from Denmark and Norway over
the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad
that have offended Muslims.
One of the gunmen said citizens of both countries
should not enter Gaza until the apology is made.
Libya shuts embassy in protest at Danish cartoons
Libya has shut down its embassy in Denmark, in a
protest against a series of cartoons in a Danish
newspaper widely seen by Muslims to be offensive to
their prophet, Mohammed.
The Libyan foreign ministry says it has taken the step
because the Danish authorities have failed to act
against the newspaper for running the cartoons, some
of which depicted the prophet Mohammed as a terrorist.
Libyan Prime Minister Shukri Ghanem told the BBC that
economic ties between the two countries are currently
Mr Ghanem said that should Denmark fail to fulfil its
responsibilities, Libya will most likely boycott
Clinton warns of rising anti-Islamic feeling
Mon Jan 30, 10:15 AM ET
DOHA (AFP) - Former US president Bill Clinton warned
of rising anti-Islamic prejudice, comparing it to
historic anti-Semitism as he condemned the publishing
of cartoons depicting Prophet Mohammed in a Danish
"So now what are we going to do? ... Replace the
anti-Semitic prejudice with anti-Islamic prejudice?"
he said at an economic conference in the Qatari
capital of Doha.
"In Europe, most of the struggles we've had in the
past 50 years have been to fight prejudices against
Jews, to fight against anti-Semitism," he said.
Clinton described as "appalling" the 12 cartoons
published in a Danish newspaper in September depicting
Prophet Mohammed and causing uproar in the Muslim
"None of us are totally free of stereotypes about
people of different races, different ethnic groups,
and different religions ... there was this appalling
example in northern Europe, in Denmark ... these
totally outrageous cartoons against Islam," he said.
The cartoons, including a portrayal of the prophet
wearing a time-bomb-shaped turban, were reprinted in a
Norwegian magazine in January, sparking uproar in the
Muslim world where images of the prophet are
Clinton criticised the tendency to generalise negative
news of Islamic militancy.
"Because people see headlines that they don't like
(they will) apply that to a whole religion, a whole
faith, a whole region and a whole people?" he asked.
A wide campaign to boycott Danish products has swept
through Muslim countries as many governments and
organisations have demanded an apology from the Danish
Clinton said the United States should continue to push
for a Middle East settlement, in light of the stunning
win by the radical Islamist movement Hamas in last
week's Palestinian elections.
"It is important that ... we continue to be heavily
involved in the resolution of the issues in the Middle
East. (But) it depends in part on what Hamas says and
does," he said.
"When we (US) are involved, fewer people (have) died,"
US President George W. Bush on Friday warned of cuts
in US aid to the Palestinians if Hamas does not
dissolve its armed wing and renounce threats against
Danish Muslims Urge Calm After Apology
Additional Reporting By Ahmad Maher, IOL Staff
COPENHAGEN, January 31, 2006 (IslamOnline.net & News
Agencies) Representatives of Danish Muslims said
Tuesday, January 31, they accepted the apology of a
Danish newspaper for its blasphemous cartoons of
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), urging more reasonable tone
about Islam and Muslims and steps to stop a boycott of
Danish products in the Muslim world.
"We will clearly and articulately thank the prime
minister (Anders Fogh Rasmussen) and Jyllands-Posten
for what they have done," Kasem Ahmad, spokesman for
Denmark's Islamic Faith Community, said Tuesday,
January 31, according to the Associated Press (AP).
Denmark's Costly Blunder
By Muslim Affairs
Jan. 30, 2006
Recent escalations in the crisis spawned by the Danish
Jyllands-Postens publication of a series of cartoons
ridiculing Prophet Muhammad appear, on the surface, to
be a test of Europes commitment to free speech. Yet
the issue is substantially more complex.
All religions should be protected from vilification
and ridicule. Restriction on freedom of expression
certainly places us on a dangerously slippery slope,
but in the long run, a sense of social responsibility
governing press freedoms seems bound to promote a
healthier atmosphere of respect and mutual toleration,
of which the world is greatly in need.
The more chaotic alternative, sure to appeal to some
die-hard libertarians, is to declare open season on
all religious groups and beliefs. And this is where
the trouble arises.
Danes face growing Muslim storm
Denmark has advised citizens against travel to Saudi
Arabia, amid growing anger across the Muslim world at
Danish depictions of the Prophet Muhammad.
A newspaper that published cartoons of the Prophet,
one of which pictured a bomb hidden in his turban,
apologised on Monday for offending Muslims.
Islam bans any depiction of the Prophet Muhammad or
The backlash has included a boycott of Danish goods,
diplomatic sanctions, and Islamic militant threats.
The editor of the Jyllands-Posten newspaper told a
Jordanian news agency: "These cartoons were not in
violation of Danish law but have irrefutably offended
many Muslims, and for that we apologise."
More about Islam and Muslims in Denmark at: